High Temperature Ultra High Vacuum


Many polymeric and organic-inorganic hybrid surface treatments suffer from decomposition under harsh environments. Cerablak® coatings are inert and inorganic, and therefore not susceptible to outgassing in vacuums or at high temperatures. Cerablak® coatings offer a range of products suitable for use under ultra-high vacuum conditions, including those that act as a high-temperature gas barrier (Cerablak® UTF), high-emissivity treatments for thermal management in UHV systems (Cerablak® HTP), and thermal insulation with ceramic micro-balloons (Cerablak® HCM

 

Material Degradation in Vacuum Environments
Vacuum environments are quite common in many production environments, and even in outer space where space vehicles must operate under high-temperature vacuum conditions. Material surfaces behave quite differently under vacuum conditions, especially when combined with high temperatures and corrosive vapor species. Semiconductor processing equipment, for example, is subjected to such harsh environments where surface degradation is a common and severe problem. Any gas barrier film must be conformal with essentially no pinhole defects and be sufficiently hermetic to limit diffusion. Thermal management is also critical and presents unique challenges in vacuum environments. No matter the application, surface engineering for vacuum environments is in a class of its own.

 

Cerablak® UTF for Vacuum Environments
Cerablak® UTF is ideally suited for protecting metallic surfaces prevalent in most vacuum environments, including semiconductor production equipment.  Various shapes, sizes, and internal surfaces can be treated with Cerablak® UTF to yield a smooth, ultra-thin, and hermetic-quality glassy layer with outstanding stability to thermal cycling.  The above figure demonstrates the robustness and durability of Cerablak® UTF in a solar production vacuum environment with selenium vapor at high temperatures.  Selenium, like sulfur, is highly corrosive to metals and can result in complete degradation (powder residue).  Cerablak® UTF-coated stainless foils show no sign of degradation even after 1700 hours at 1700°F.